I am shocked it was this kind of game. I expected a tougher battle and a win by single digits. UNC is in a terrific groove right now. With a great deal of concern heading into this game over whether Ty Lawson would be effective. Do we need to talk about it anymore? Anyone? I did not think so. Lawson came out and seized control of the game. He hit threes, distributed the basketball and ended up sending Jeremy Pargo to the bench with three fouls seven minutes prior to halftime. UNC had all the cylinders firing and it started with Lawson as the sparkplug. Tyler Hansbrough had a vintage game for him(24 pts, 10 rebs) while Wayne Ellington continued to score any time he wanted(19 points) and grabbing seven rebounds.
The two big stories in this one were Danny Green and Bobby Frasor. Green had been in a funk of epic proportions since early March. He broke out of it briefly versus Radford but in the LSU game still had issues. Tonight was classic Danny Green stuffing his stat line in every conceivable spot. His line:
13 points, 7 assists, 4 steals, 3 rebs and 2 blocks.
That is the kind of play we have come to expect from Green and makes him an incredible X factor in any given game. Bobby Frasor showed up at just the right time to hit two threes. All season long we have watched Frasor struggle with his shot with the exception of the first Duke game. In this game Frasor made two game changing threes after Gonzaga cut the lead to 11. Within 40 seconds Frasor drilled two from beyond the arc and Ellington followed with a three point play to extend the lead back to 20. Sooner or later you figured those shots had to fall for Frasor and tonight was as good a time as any.
In November, 2006 UNC got dominated by Gonzaga. UNC paid it back and then some in a high stakes NCAA Tournament game. The performance tonight looked like a team stepping their game up to contend for a national title. The only suspect parts could be found with the free throw shooting and the play at power forward. Neither Deon Thompson or Ed Davis had a particularly good game though Thompson seemed to struggle more than Davis. Despite the way it looked, Davis/Thompson combined for 10 points and eight rebounds.
Now the Heels get #2 seed Oklahoma. Repeat of 1990 anyone?